New DWP guidance for Supported Businesses

DWP has issued new guidance to Supported Businesses confirming ministerial approval has been granted for the Transitional Employer Support Grant (TESG) to be claimed whilst an employee is at home due to Covid 19. The guidance also sets out the requirements for providing evidence of the continued support provided by the SB and offers options as to how signatures can be obtained.

We also understand that ministerial approval in principle has been gained for an extension to TESG, however this will be subject to the next spending review. TESG is paid through the Access to Work programme and the Supported Business Steering Group (SBSG) has spent many days lobbying for these policy changes including letters to Ministers and the Secretary of State. SBSG members have used their networks and resources to raise the issues with shadow ministers and members of the ‘upper house’.

Supported Businesses will need to confirm that they have delivered a minimum of one-hour remote support per week per employee; and that the employee will also be required to sign this off. DWP have confirmed that this new requirement will not be necessary for May claims, but will start in June 2020. DWP will be holding webinars on 27 and 28 May about these changes.

BASE welcomes these important changes. They show a welcome flexibility at a time when many businesses are struggling with the impact of the pandemic. There remains an issue about the need for wet signatures. DWP have issued new guidance about Access to Work claims and payments but  there is still a need for wet signatures or posted email confirmation; something that can be very difficult to obtain from some clients who are shielding.